By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense fired coach Abel Braga yesterday afternoon after more than two years at the club. Following five straight defeats and the team slipping into the relegation zone of the Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship), president Peter Siemsen confirmed Braga’s exit at a press conference held at the club’s headquarters in Laranjeiras.

Abel Braga Fired by Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Abel Braga leaves Fluminense’s headquarters in Laranjeiras following his dismissal, photo by Fernando Cazaes/Photocamera.

Abel Braga was upset by the decision but claimed to understand why the directors had decided to act. “If I was a director, I would also change the coach,” Braga said.

“I would like to thank everyone here for giving me such a special time. I was here 26 months, which is rare in football. It’s the right time for a change,” he concluded.

Before leaving the press room, Braga was presented with a miniature version of the 2012 Brasileirão trophy which he guided the club to in December last year by club vice-president Sandro Lima.

Meanwhile, president Peter Siemsen said the club needed to “breathe new air,” saying Fluminense may have to face Cruzeiro on Wednesday with no coach.

“I don’t guarantee we will have a new coach by Wednesday. But we are in negotiations and we could close a deal quickly,” he said.

Three names have so far been linked with the job: former Grêmio and Flamengo coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, ex-São Paulo boss Ney Franco and Bahia coach Cristovão Borges. Should no coach have been appointed by Wednesday, Marcos Valadares, the club’s under-17 coach, will take charge for the match against table-topping Cruzeiro.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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